Tuesday 12 February 2019

Sadler, Michael "An Englishman in Paris"

Sadler, Michael "An Englishman in Paris: L'éducation continentale" - 2000

I think a lot of people dream about living abroad for a while and Paris is certainly on top of the list for many of them. Well, Michael Sadler made his dream come true, he went to Paris for a year and lived among the French.

The result is a hilarious book about his experiences in the French capital. It might help if you know French because he uses a lot of colloquialism without bothering to translate which might be a problem for some. But I just laughed the whole way through.

Whether he describes his first time driving in Paris, his meetings with his neighbours where he is introduced to the weirdest culinary meals, his excursions into the city to get some shopping done during a major strike, it all sounds so real. I have a friend near Paris and have been visiting her on and off in the last four decades, so I've come across quite a few of his adventures, even though I never lived there.

Even HRH Prince Charles called it "Wonderfully amusing". I couldn't agree more.

I will certainly read this book again some time.

From what I read, he is married to a French woman and lives in France now.

From the back cover:

"South coast-born, Parisian manqué, Michael Sadler set out to spend a year in the city of light to educate himself in the mysterious ways of the continent. Triple-parking, tasting wine at the Bon Marche, keeping one's end up at a diner bourgeois, keeping one's wicket in a liaison dangereuse afterwards - each challenge is broached with a mixture of distance (British) and relish (Gallic). Abrasive and tender, naive and in the know, An Englishman in Paris is a sharp, hilarious and affectionate look at our nearest neighbours and the nature of foreignness."


  1. Replies
    1. It is. I'm not a huge fan of "easy reads" but this one was fun.